Catching Up On The Kratom Craze


I only recently heard about kratom. But I was instantly intrigued by the remarkable claims made about this plant. So I did some research and exploration… and am sharing my kratom experience with you.

First off, a couple disclaimers:

  1. I am not a doctor, botanist nor pharmacist by trade. So I cannot give you “professional” insight about this plant and its effects. However, I am a curious soul and a believer in natural healing. I am willing to try just about any natural remedy if evidence shows it to be safe and provide more benefit than harm. So today I am simply going to review what I found and highlight some things to consider.
  2. Kaldzar does not promote the illegal possession or use of any material. We highly recommend you check your local laws before trying any potentially regulated product.
  3. Everybody is unique. We each have a different body chemistry and comfort level with various sensations. Do not assume that my experience is universal.

So, what is Kratom anyway?

Mitragyna Speciosa | It’s scientific name

  • It’s a tropical evergreen plant that is native to Southeast Asia and naturally grows in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea.
  • It’s related to the coffee plant and has been used in traditional medicines since at least the 19th century.
  • The most powerful strains are commonly called “Maeng Da”. Consequently, these are also the most coveted due to their potency.

The leaves of the kratom plant contain an active chemical called mitragynine. This gives the plant some stimulant-like effects (when consumed in smaller quantities) or certain possible opioid properties (if consumed in high enough amounts). Users ingest the active chemicals from the plant by chewing the leaves or consuming a dry powder made from them. In fact, the several varieties of this medicinal plant are defined by the coloring of the leaves. All have bright green leaves, but the veins vary in color. And each variation reportedly has a slightly different effect:

  • Red veins relieve stress, anxiety, and pain.
  • Green veins tend to enhance cognitive performance and your immune system.
  • White veins stimulate and are perfect for focus and productivity.
  • Yellow/Gold veins come from a special drying technique and supposedly produce experiences like no other strain.


Green Maeng Da

Is it Legal?

Because of the plant’s intoxicating effects, many governments are tracking kratom’s growing popularity and are taking action to control it’s distribution. If you intend to try it for yourself, be sure to research online about the legality of this substance in your country and state.

My Take

I was impressed by the amount of information available about kratom. Obviously, I’ve boiled down some of that for this post. But I suggest you do some additional online searches of your own if this topic interests you.

And who wouldn’t be amazed by the positive effects that had been reported about this magical plant? I know I am. Kratom is said to help with:

  • Pain Relief via seratonin & dopamine release
  • Immune System Booster due to multiple alkaloids/antioxidants
  • Boosts Energy by optimizing certain metabolic processes and impacting hormone levels
  • Increased Circulation takes oxygenated blood to areas of need
  • Addiction Recovery (particularly from opiod use), as it curbs withdrawal symptoms
  • Anti-Cough
  • Anti-Depression/Anxiety
  • Improved Concentration
  • Relaxation
  • Improves Sleep
  • Increase Socialization
  • Sexual Enhancer

I am aware there is always a flip-side to any coin. So I looked into the possible negative side-effects of kratom. Those include things like:

  • Addiction (& increased tolerance with habitual use) / withdrawals
  • Constipation
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Liver damage
  • Drowsiness / Fatigue

Western medicine is good, but Mother Earth also provides cures for almost all that ails us. With that said, I am not a recovering addict or anything like that. However, several of the other positive effects attracted me. And these negative impacts come with long-term and high-dose usage, but I was not intending either of those. My research indicated the potential risks were low enough… So I decided to go for it.

maeng da kratom
Maeng Da Powder Sample Pack

What is Kratom like?

There are so many questions about this experience! Let me try to answer the most common…

Where do you get kratom?

Kratom in now being sold in many head shops and some gas stations. It is usually sold in capsules and marketed as a stimulant to help keep users (drivers) awake. However, I wanted to be sure that I only used a high-quality, trusted source. Luckily I had access to Kats Botanicals. They provide a ton of information specifically on kratom and explain the plants even further. By the way, they also have CBD and other great botanical products. Kats followed up the sale with information pamphlets, webinars, testimonials to specifically help guide me through the best kratom experience. Psst… You can save 15% with code ‘Save15’ if you do decide to take the leap. More details will be listed below.

What strain did you take?

As you can see in the picture above, I received a variety of nicely packaged samples from Kats. I decided to go with the Green Maeng Da seeing as I was looking to get some work/chores done, and can always use an immunity boost. Keep in mind that the “feel” and “duration” responses below may vary with a different strain.

What does kratom look like?

In nature, the leaves are broad, smooth, and oval. But that is not available here. So I received pouches of very dry, very fine powder. It is dark green and slightly brown in color.

What does kratom smell and taste like?

To me the powder smells very similar to dried green tea, though maybe not quite as crisp or refreshing. The taste matches the smell. It is not exactly pleasant, but is not vile.

How do you take kratom?

I took mine via a classic method called “Toss & Wash”. Basically, this means simply taking about 2g of powder directly in your mouth atop your tongue, then immediately following with water to gulp it down. And swishing extra water around your mouth to help wash down any bits that stuck around. (Note: I did 2 “washes”, so about 4grams, as a dose)

What does kratom feel like?

Recall: different strains provide different effects, and everybody has their own body chemistry. But for me, the plant did give me subtle pleasant feelings. I felt alert and active, which helped me finish some work and chores. At the same time, I also felt a bit relaxed. Like how you feel after a drink or two… loose and chill, but still under control. I think that part would have been great for socializing.

How long does kratom last?

My research said the effects could last around four hours. However, I did not feel like I was “under influence” for that long. The effects may have been subtle so I didn’t notice. But I felt like the height of the effects lasted about two hours.

The Last Drop

So there you have it! That was my first kratom experience. I enjoyed learning about the biology of this plant, as well as the culture and myths surrounding it. I was intrigued by the healing powers of Maeng Da. And although we need to avoid misuse of kratom to avoid it’s negative effects, I can attest to positives impacts it can bring to life.

The things that grow and occur in nature are fascinating. And the ways in which humans use these gifts are equally as interesting. But you don’t have to take my word for it. There are many resources available to help you learn more about this amazing plant. I hope I have tickled your curiosity and encourage you to further explore your world.


Kats Botanicals – Maeng Da Powder Sample Pack

Get 15% Off With Discount Code: SAVE15

Includes: White Maeng Da, Green Maeng Da, Red Maeng Da and Plantation Maeng Da.

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David Hughes

Contributing Editor and Author at Kaldzar

Certified Biologist and Data Scientist
Constantly curious. Curiously compassionate.

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